In the summer of 1138, war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud takes Brother Cadfael from the quiet world of his garden into a battlefield of passions, deceptions, and death. Not far from the safety of the abbey walls, Shrewsbury Castle falls, leaving its ninety-four defenders loyal to the empress to hang as traitors. With a heavy heart, Brother Cadfael agrees to bury the dead, only to make a grisly discovery: one extra victim that has been strangled, not hanged.
This ingenious way to dispose of a corpse tells Brother Cadfael that the killer is both clever and ruthless. But one death among so many seems unimportant to all but the good Benedictine. He vows to find the truth behind disparate clues: a girl in boy's clothing, a missing treasure, and a single broken flower . . . the tiny bit of evidence that Cadfael believes can expose a murderer's black heart.
About the book
The war between Empress Maud and King Stephen is close to the abbey in which Father Cadfael lives. King Stephen kills all his enemies after he conquer the city, but Father Cadfael is the only one who finds out that among the dead, there is one who wasn’t executed.
More over at the abbey a new novice arrives and he seems strange and with a secret.
In the remote Welsh mountain village of Gwytherin lies the grave of Saint Winifred. Now, in 1137, the ambitious head of Shrewsbury Abbey has decided to acquire the sacred remains for his Benedictine order. Native Welshman Brother Cadfael is sent on the expedition to translate and finds the rustic villagers of Gwytherin passionately divided by the Benedictine's offer for the saint's relics. Canny, wise, and all too wordly, he isn't surprised when this taste for bones leads to bloody murder.
The leading opponent to moving the grave has been shot dead with a mysterious arrow, and some say Winifred herself held the bow. Brother Cadfael knows a carnal hand did the killing. But he doesn't know that his plan to unearth a murderer may dig up a case of love and justice...where the wages of sin may be scandal or Cadfael's own ruin.
About the book
Shrewsbury. During a session between monks, one of them gets sick. When he comes to, the monk who cured him believes he has seen Santa Winnifred telling him to take the sick man to a spring. Columbanus, the sick man, recovers and says that the Saint wants to be transported to the abbey. Six of them leave to unearth the saint, but not everyone in the small town where Winnifred is buried wants the translation. And then, he dies. Father Cadfael investigates.
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